With $21-bn networth, Mukesh Ambani India's richest for 6th yr

With $21-bn networth, Mukesh Ambani India's richest for 6th yr

With a networth of USD 21 billion, Mukesh Ambani has retained his title as India's wealthiest for sixth year in a row, while the country's 100 richest persons saw their collective wealth soar by a modest 3 per cent in a year.

NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (USD 16 billion) also continues to hold the second position, while Sun Pharma's Dilip Shanghvi has jumped to third place with about 50 per cent surge in his wealth to USD 13.9 billion, pushing IT czar Azim Premji to fourth place (USD 13.8 billion).

As per US-based business magazine Forbes' annual list of India's 100 richest, released today, their total wealth grew by a modest 3 per cent from a year ago to USD 259 billion.

"Growth in wealth was lacklustre due to India's stumbling economy, which has been hit by inflation and a falling rupee," Forbes said.

Amid the sluggishness, Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani and ArcelorMittal's Lakshmi Mittal saw no change in their respective networths, but pharmaceutical industry titan Shanghi managed to buck the trend with a surge of USD 4.7 billion in his wealth to USD 13.9 billion.

Premji's wealth also rose by USD 1.6 billion, but he could not retain his third slot.

Pallonji Mistry, patriarch of construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group which is the biggest shareholder in Tata Sons, has moved down one place to fifth rank with a networth of USD 12.5 billion. His younger son Cyrus Mistry last year succeeded Ratan Tata as new Tata group head.

NRI businessmen Hinduja brothers have moved up to sixth place (USD 9 billion), from their 9th position last year.

Shiv Nadar (USD 8.6 billion) have moved into top-ten at the 7th place, while Sunil Mittal has also returned to this league at 10th place (USD 6.6 billion). On the other hand, Essar group's Ruia brothers and Jindal group's Savitri Jindal have moved out from the group. 

Adi Godrej has slipped two places to 8th rank (USD 8.3 billion), while Aditya Birla group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has gained one position to 9th (USD 7.6 billion).

Anil Ambani has also retained his 11th rank, although his wealth rose to USD 6.2 billion, from USD 6 billion a year ago.

In the top-20, he is followed by Shashi and Ravi Ruia (USD 5.5 billion), Micky Jagtiani (USD 5 billion), Savitri Jindal (USD 4.9 billion), Uday Kotak (USD 4.1 billion), Cyrus Poonawalla (USD 4 billion), Anand Burman (USD 3.7 billion), Kushal Pal Singh (USD 3.4 billion), Desh Bandhu Gupta (USD 3.2 billion) and Bajaj Family (USD 3.1 billion).

There are a total of 65 billionaires on the list, four more than last year. Some of these have made their fortunes in the Middle East, including Bahrain resident Ravi Pillai (richest newcomer with USD 1.7 billion) of Saudi construction group, Nasser S Al-Hajri Corp, and retail mogul M A Yusuff Ali (USD 1.6 billion) of Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group.

As many as 15 new members have entered the top-100 list even as more than half of last year's rich listers, including Savitri Jindal whose wealth declined by USD 3.3 billion, have seen a fall in their fortunes.

The minimum net worth to make to the list has increased to USD 635 million from USD 460 million last year.

Forbes said that the list has been compiled using shareholder and financial information obtained from families, individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and regulators.

The ranking lists family fortunes, including those shared among extended families such as the Bajaj family, while the wealth figures were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of October 18, 2013.

Privately-held companies were valued based on the valuation of similar publicly-traded companies.

Others on the list include Vedanta group's Anil Agarwal at 21st position (USD 3 billion), Gautam Adani (22, USD 2.65 billion), Kalanithi Maran (23, USD 2.6 billion), Venugopal Dhoot (30, USD 1.8 billion), Ajay Piramal (41, USD 1.55 billion), Nandan Nilekani (50, USD 1.3 billion), Rakesh Jhunjhunwala (61, USD 1.15 billion) and Anu Aga (86, USD 730).

The youngest on the list is 38-year old Shivinder Mohan Singh, who along with his 40-year-old brother Malvinder Mohan Singh have been ranked at 26th place (USD 2.3 billion).

Besides, 40-year old Ranjan Pai of Manipal group is at 51st place (USD 1.25 billion).

Others aged below 50 include Glenn Saldanha ranked 57 with net worth of USD 1.19 billion, Nirav Modi (64, USD 1.01 billion) and Vikas Oberoi (79, USD 780 billion) among others.

Women on the list include Savitri Jindal, Anu Aga, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Shobhana Bhartia.

Those aged above 80 years of age include Brij Mohan Lal Munjal (90 years), Samprada Singh (87 yrs), Pallonji Mistry (84 yrs), Devendra Jain (84 yrs) and Kushal Pal Singh (82 yrs).

On Mukesh Ambani, Forbes said he plans to invest USD 25 billion in his businesses over the next 3 years.

Regarding L N Mittal, the magazine said "no turnaround yet for troubled steel baron Lakshmi Mittal whose ArcelorMittal is facing weak demand amid supply glut."

Mittal has put one of three houses he owns on London's billionaires' row up for sale, the magazine said.

Meanwhile, his son-in-law Amit Bhatia's family has partnered Air Asia's Tony Fernandes and the Tata group, for a new budget airline.

The list forms part of Forbes India edition which would hit the stands on November 7.

Shanghvi, who moved into the top five last year, is the third richest for the first time. Despite the rise, Sun reported a USD 210 million loss in the last quarter, after making a provision for settling a patent dispute over Pfizer's acid-reflux drug Protonix.

"Wipro chairman Azim Premji, whose fortune is up USD 1.6 billion in past year, got boost after spinning off its (the company's) consumer products business in March," Forbes said.

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